WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann accused SoftBank Group of abusing its energy in a brand new lawsuit filed Monday that alleges breach of contract and breach of fiduciary responsibility for pulling a $three billion tender provide for WeWork shares.
The lawsuit, filed in Delaware Courtroom of Chancery, included a movement to consolidate his case with a lawsuit filed final month by a Particular Committee of WeWork’s board. Each lawsuits give attention to SoftBank Group and its Imaginative and prescient Fund’s choice to again out of a deal to purchase shares of the co-working firm.
SoftBank Group pulled its $three billion tender provide for WeWork shares April 1, citing COVID-19’s impression on the enterprise but in addition closing situations not being met. Particularly, it pointed to excellent regulatory investigations, a rising physique of litigation in opposition to the corporate and the failure to restructure a three way partnership in China as causes to torpedo the settlement.
“SoftBank will vigorously defend itself in opposition to these meritless claims,” Rob Townsend, senior vice chairman and chief officer at SoftBank, mentioned in a press release. “Below the phrases of our settlement, which Adam Neumann signed, SoftBank had no obligation to finish the tender provide by which Mr. Neumann – the largest beneficiary – sought to promote almost $1 billion in inventory.”
A deal was struck in October 2019 to purchase out among the fairness held by Neumann, in addition to the enterprise capital Benchmark Capital and lots of particular person firm staff. Neumann was set to obtain virtually $1 billion for his shares.
WeWork and Neumann gave management of the corporate to SoftBank, which elevated its possession at a considerably lowered value, in line with the criticism.
“SoftBank has abused its place of energy to “renege on its promise to pay [Neumann, shareholders, and hundreds of employees] for the advantages it already obtained,” the criticism mentioned. The lawsuit claims that SoftBank was “secretly taking actions to undermine it” by pressuring traders to not waive sure rights and stopping the China roll-up transaction from closing.
The lawsuit additional alleges that SoftBank’s monetary situation influenced the corporate’s choice to terminate the tender provide.
The lawsuit alleges that SoftBank “abused its energy” after WeWork’s particular committee filed a lawsuit by insisting that solely the board, which is managed by SoftBank, may take authorized motion.
“In actual time, SoftBank Group and SoftBank Imaginative and prescient Fund are abusing their management of WeWork in an effort to cease the Particular Committee’s meritorious lawsuit from being heard,” the criticism reads.